Sam Allardyce Becomes New England Boss

Updated: July 23, 2016

The FA have appointed Roy Hodgson’s successor, who resigned after England’s elimination at the hands of Iceland in Euro 2016. The announcement was made on Friday and signing the former Sunderland boss to a two year deal.

At the age of 61 and without any major trophies, the obvious question is how will he manage to deliver that for the England national team? His CV boasts Premier League survival with Bolton, Newcastle Blackburn, West Ham and Sunderland although he didn’t have the best of times at Newcastle, being sacked after 24 games. His biggest achievements in management include winning the League of Ireland first division in the 1991-1992 season, finishing 8th and reaching the league cup final with Bolton in 2003-2004. Overall Allardyce has never managed a club with a higher win percentage than 43.1% being at Blackpool from 1994 to 1996. He has actually never won more Premier League games than he has lost at every club he has managed which raises concerns.

Sunderland fans will be the most disappointed as they expected a turn-around similar to what he did at West Ham but now face another summer of uncertainty as a relegation fight looks likely unless newly announced manager David Moyes can turn their fortunes around. Steve Bruce was also heavily linked with the England job and later resigned from Hull City shortly after Allardyce was announced.

His style has been strongly criticised as using the “long ball” tactic or aggressive but is it the way forward for an England side who “should” be competing with the top international teams? I say “should” because one thing that has to be remembered when stating that England is a top side is that the English national team have failed to make a semi-final  since Euro 1996 and before that the World Cup in 1990. English football may be big internationally but the record says they’re at the moment a very average team. The most important thing about Allardyce’s style is that his defences are organised, making the most of set-plays and getting the job done. One thing that was crucial against Iceland was the lack of organisation in defence, which should be resolved under Big Sam. One big problem is that of the striking options, “Where do you play Rooney?” “How can you fit Vardy, Sturridge and Kane in attack?” “Will he bring Defoe back?” the list could go on and on. I honestly can’t see Sam changing his style that much sticking to something traditional like a 4-4-2 which Hodgson stuck to at first and it didn’t really work out with England incapable of actually creating chances with such a tight and restricted failing to create chances from out wide. People called his tactics at first uninspiring and boring, so change came and it was more evident with the use of a 4-3-3 in the Euros that he went for short passes to try and break down defences but with sitting back defences and wingers who really didn’t stick to their jobs as being wingers, it didn’t work either. So maybe the problem isn’t the tactics but more the discipline of players.

Many things have been said of Sam citing his uses of advanced and modern medical programs and yoga to keep players in top shape will be a big plus, which I fail to agree on considering that it would be down to the clubs to keep their players in peak condition, Sam will only be seeing the players a few times in the year or on the other hand after the long tiring seasons that Premier League players have endured, he could better prepare them for tournaments, that remains to be seen if England can qualify for the World Cup in 2018. He may consider being less loyal than Roy who could have been culpable of being too loyal taking players who were deemed less worthy of going to Euro 2016 due to lack of fitness or form, this could be a big factor in the Allardyce era, a no-nonsense approach said by many of those who have worked closely with him. Rooney has already come out to support the FA’s choice and commit himself to the England team which is a big plus but remains to be seen if Allardyce wants him to remain as captain.

It’s hard to anticipate what the England team will look like with a manager who is used to surviving in the Premier League now expected to aim for top spot internationally but that’s not really that important after humiliating eliminations from the last two major competitions, the only thing we know is that change was needed.

Can Sam Allardyce be successful with the England national team?

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